Regular Research Articles
- In Gaucher disease (GD), the deficiency of glucocerebrosidase causes lysosomal accumulation of glucosylceramide (GlcCer), which is partly converted by acid ceramidase to glucosylsphingosine (GlcSph) in the lysosome. Chronically elevated blood and tissue GlcSph is thought to contribute to symptoms in GD patients as well as to increased risk for Parkinson’s disease. On the other hand, formation of GlcSph may be beneficial since the water soluble sphingoid base is excreted via urine and bile. To study the role of excessive GlcSph formation during glucocerebrosidase deficiency, we studied zebrafish that have two orthologs of acid ceramidase, Asah1a and Asah1b.
- Deficiency of glucocerebrosidase (GBA), a lysosomal β-glucosidase, causes Gaucher disease. The enzyme hydrolyzes β-glucosidic substrates and transglucosylates cholesterol to cholesterol-β-glucoside. Here we show that recombinant human GBA also cleaves β-xylosides and transxylosylates cholesterol. The xylosyl-cholesterol formed acts as an acceptor for the subsequent formation of di-xylosyl-cholesterol. Common mutant forms of GBA from patients with Gaucher disease with reduced β-glucosidase activity were similarly impaired in β-xylosidase, transglucosidase, and transxylosidase activities, except for a slightly reduced xylosidase/glucosidase activity ratio of N370S GBA and a slightly reduced transglucosylation/glucosidase activity ratio of D409H GBA.